Me­ter of­fer to cut wa­ter bills

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - 24 - By NICK REINIS

THE biggest ever wa­ter ef­fi­ciency drive in the east­ern re­gion has been launched in Peter­bor­ough.

Over the next 12 months, sup­plier Anglian Wa­ter will in­stall 12,000 free wa­ter me­ters in homes in 44 ar­eas both in the city cen­tre and sur­round­ing district.

The wa­ter com­pany will put in place a fur­ther 6,500 me­ters in the fol­low­ing year. A to­tal of 183,000 me­ters are set to be in­stalled over the next five years in the east­ern re­gion.

The aim of the drive, which is known as Pay as you Flow, is for cus­tomers to save money and re­duce the amount of wa­ter that their house­hold uses.

It will also boost Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil’s as­pi­ra­tions to be the UK’s En­vi­ron­ment Cap­i­tal.

Ciaran Nel­son, a spokesper­son for Anglian Wa­ter, said: “It’s a funny thing, but we ac­tu­ally want peo­ple to use less wa­ter, so we can charge them less.

“We’re se­ri­ous about it. We don’t want cus­tomers to pay for a drop more than they use.”

In­stead of be­ing charged on a rate­able value, based on the area where a cus­tomer lives and the size of their home, the me­ter al- lows a cus­tomer to pay for ex­actly what they use over a six month pe­riod.

The me­ter sys­tem is cur­rently be­ing used by 67 per cent of the wa­ter com­pany’s 5.5 mil­lion cus­tomers, each of whom re­quested its in­stal­la­tion.

How­ever, the com­pany is now rolling it out all of its cus­tomers - start­ing in Peter­bor­ough, which was cho­sen be­cause it is a “wa­ter stressed” area.

Mr Nel­son added: “It’s an area in our re­gion where we an­tic­i­pate that in the fu­ture the de­mand will rise, but avail­abil­ity will not keep pace with it.

“This will match per­fectly with the city coun­cil’s as­pi­ra­tions to be the En­vi­ron­ment Cap­i­tal be­cause it’s a very en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly thing to do.

“Letters are cur­rently be­ing sent to house­holds about the scheme. The me­ter will be put in place, but it is en­tirely up to the cus­tomer if they wish to sign up.”

The com­pany will be fit­ting the me­ters in batches, as this is the most ef­fi­cient way to in­stall them.

On av­er­age, Anglian Wa­ter say house­hold wa­ter bills drop £100 a year for those cus­tomers us­ing a wa­ter me­ter.

Mr Nel­son added: “Mil­lions of peo­ple are al­ready see­ing the ben­e­fits, but mil­lions more could be sav­ing money. Us­ing less wa­ter also low­ers elec­tric­ity bills, which means re­duc­ing car­bon foot­print as well as the amount you pay for your wa­ter and elec­tric­ity.

“In this re­gion, be­ing wa­ter ef­fi­cient re­ally mat­ters.

“We ac­tu­ally get less rain each year than Jerusalem.”

Jenna Hi­ley, Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil’s cli­mate change of­fi­cer, said: “The coun­cil is re­ally sup­port­ive of this ini­tia­tive by Anglian Wa­ter to im­prove wa­ter ef­fi­ciency.

“House­holds on wa­ter me­ters as a gen­eral rule are more ef­fi­cient with their wa­ter use - sav­ing them money on their wa­ter bill and cut­ting car­bon emis­sions too. This not only helps re­duce the amount of wa­ter wasted and re­duces Peter­bor­ough’s car­bon foot­print but helps the city in its aim to be­come the UK’s en­vi­ron­ment cap­i­tal.” For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact: www.an­glian­wa­ter.co.uk

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